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Michael and the Cats

Michael and the Cats

by Barbara Abercrombie, Mark Graham (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-A satisfying story of a young child's learning experience. When Michael's family visits his aunt and uncle, he wants to make friends with their cats, but doesn't know how. He tries to feed them ice cream and put clothes on them. Then he takes time to observe the creatures, and sees what they like. Before long, they become friends. One wonders why the adults, while telling the boy what the animals do not like, don't give him some hints about appropriate behavior. Done in predominantly blues and grays with fuzzy brush strokes, Graham's lovely, softly colored paintings show the boy, his baby brother, and the felines through a dreamlike haze. Bright beams of light make their faces shine out. Cat enthusiasts will applaud this book, and young listeners will learn an excellent lesson about the treatment of animals.-Nancy Seiner, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Emily Melton
Michael visits his aunt, who has two cats. Michael wants to be friends with them, but no matter what he does--whether it's hugging them, feeding them his leftover chocolate ripple ice cream, or sharing his bath--it seems to be wrong. The cats, along with his aunt and his parents, just don't seem to appreciate his efforts. Finally, it dawns on Michael that the furry felines might not like the same things a little boy likes, and he decides that discovering what the cats "do" like may help him win their friendship. On the last night of his visit, the cats creep into Michael's bed, and Michael is happy that he has succeeded in making friends with them. Abercrombie tells an entertaining story, but just as important, she helps young children discover that the key to friendship--whether with humans or animals--is understanding. Children will learn, just as Michael does, that imposing their own ideas of friendship may not work, but putting themselves in another's place usually produces the desired response. This is an excellent teaching tool for a themed story time on pets, understanding animals, or friendship and can also be a good discussion starter for one-on-one parent-child reading sessions. Graham's simple pastel illustrations are eye-pleasing and add a gently humorous touch.

Product Details

Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
7.84(w) x 9.81(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Barbara Abercrombie, an author of books for both children and adults, teaches creative writing in the Writers' Program at UCLA Extension and conducts writing workshops for the Wellness Community. She lives with her husband in Santa Monica, California, and Twin Bridges, Montana.

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